Inspired by Roman mythology, scientists have invented a blanket that can cool anything it covers during the day and heat it at night.
The Janus thermal blanket, named after the two-faced Roman god Janus, could be used in everything from electric cars to spacecraft. Researchers suggest it could even be used to build off-planet colonies on the Moon and Mars.
“The thermal blanket is like clothing for vehicles, buildings, spacecraft and even extraterrestrial habitats, keeping them cool in summer and warm in winter,” says Kehang Cui, a materials scientist at Shanghai Jiao Tong University who participated in the research.
The blanket basically works in the same way that the Earth cools through relative cooling. The Earth is covered by an atmosphere, and the atmosphere is permeable to a certain range of electromagnetic energy that we emit.
The futuristic material made of silica and aluminum can passively achieve the heating and cooling effect without the need for any external energy.
Covering electric vehicles prevents battery degradation by cooling them by 8 degrees Celsius on a hot day and heating them by 6.8 degrees Celsius on a cold night.
“For the first time, we can achieve heating almost 7 degrees Celsius above ambient temperature on winter nights,” says Professor Cui.
“This is surprising for us too, there is no energy input or sunlight and we can still get heat.
The study detailing the research, titled “Scalable and durable Janus thermal cloak for all-season passive thermal regulation”, was published on Tuesday in the scientific journal Device.
Republished from Independent news report,